Appearing today on Toucher & Rich on The Sports Hub 98.5 WBZ-FM in Boston, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge discussed his team’s recent slump and reiterated a couple points he made last week, expressing a belief that the team as constructed as not “good enough” to compete for a title and putting the blame on himself for the roster’s shortcomings (Twitter links via Keith Smith of RealGM).
While Ainge accepted responsibility for the holes on Boston’s roster, he also shared some concerns about the team’s intensity level. Ainge stressed that he believes in the club’s current players, but said, “I wish they were playing harder” (Twitter link via Smith).
“The intensity level hasn’t been there,” Ainge said (Twitter link via Smith). “I don’t know how to explain it. Our team isn’t playing well. They don’t play hard all the time. I don’t have an explanation. It’s been frustrating for the players and the coaches.”
According to Ainge, surrounding Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown with more scoring and more “dynamic talent off the bench” is a priority. While the Celtics’ top executive restated that he doesn’t want to make a move just to do something, he said the team is always looking for ways to upgrade its roster. “Time will tell” if it happens before the deadline, Ainge added (Twitter links via Smith).
Here’s more on the Celtics:
- Specifically addressing the possibility of utilizing the Celtics’ $28.5MM trade exception before the trade deadline, Ainge noted that the exception might be easier to use during the offseason, when the hard cap isn’t a concern and more teams around the NBA can afford to make big-money deals that drastically shake up their rosters (Twitter link via Smith).
- Appearing on Felger & Mazz on 98.5 FM in Boston, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck made it clear that the franchise is happy with Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens, despite the club’s struggles. “They’re our guys and we’re sticking with them, and it’s not even a question in my mind,” Grousbeck said (audio link via NBC Sports Boston).
- Hawks big man John Collins is one potential trade candidate who could appeal to the Celtics, so Chris Kirschner, Jay King, and Jared Weiss of The Athletic dug into a hypothetical trade to try to determine whether there’s a match between the two teams. Kirschner – who cover the Hawks -and the two Celtics’ writers ultimately agreed that something like Payton Pritchard, Carsen Edwards, and two or three first-round picks might work.